Thursday, February 18, 2010

Under-pressure Bangladeshis and the unlucky Pakistanis

Bangladesh is once again staring at one of their customary test defeats and for some reason, which is not clear to me, their coach, Jamie Siddons, is angry. Siddons says "I'm not sure what went wrong, whether the boys felt the pressure of the big occasion or if they thought they could go out and actually get the runs, but it was certainly not in the plan". What big occasion? Is Bangladesh taking on New Zealand in a test that would ultimately decide the world no #1? No, wait, that's the other match that just ended. Or may be Siddon's is referring to the fact that Bangladesh is batting in the 4th innings of the match. Generally, matches involving Bangladesh don't enter the 4th innings, so this must be an overwhelming experience for them. Only if their No # 7 and #8 hadn't spoiled the first innings, they all would have been relaxing in their rooms by now. And yeah Siddons, the real problem is that your batsmen thought they can get these runs, since they have been chasing the 400 plus scores in test matches so frequently.

Now on the other side, 44% of the Pakistanis taking part in a survey blamed their team's defeat in Australia to poor cricket.  Let me say that again, only 44% of the Pakistanis believe that poor cricket is the reason why they lost all 9 matches to Australia in that tour; 3-0 in tests (two with margins of 170 and 231 runs each), 5-0 in ODIs (again twice with 100+ margins) and 1-0 in twenty twenty. 13% thought the team was unlucky (only if the cameras hadn't caught Afridi biting the ball, or only if Kamran had hurt is ankle during practice) and 20% of the respondents were not sure why the team lost.

However, for me, the most surprising aspect of the survey results was that, in a show of tremendous maturity, not even one of them blamed BCCI, IPL, Lalti Modi or Narendra Modi for their team's defeat. Or may be the surveyor, in a surprisingly foolish oversight, forgot to provide these options, which would also explain why 20% were unsure.

1 comment:

  1. well, to play the devil's advocate: playing a test match - any test match - is still a big occasion for bangladesh. playing a test match and still being in the game, somewhat, on the 4th afternoon, makes it a bigger one: because for one of the few times in their cricketing history, they are in a position where they HAVE something to lose. one can imagine how that would play on their minds and end up with them putting pressure on themselves.
    as for entertaining thoughts of reaching the target: pressure does strange things, and a typical bangladeshi response to it has been to throw the bat at everything.
    my general point is, understandable for a team that has rarely been in this position to put a lot of pressure on themselves because of the added expectations in theirs and others minds.